Apple CEO Tim Cook had an warning for users of “free” online services in a blog post about privacy. He said that consumers are the product and that they need to beware.
He said, “A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”
He said that at Apple, they sell products. And expensive ones at that. While Apple does offer a great many services, their services are tied to the purchase of their hardware.
Users of services like Gmail or Facebook, never have to purchase a particular product to take advantage of the services. In what seems like a direct swipe at Google’s Gmail, he also said Apple will never read your e-mail content or monitor your browsing habits to sell that information to advertisers.
While Apple does have the iAd advertising business, Cook insists that it respects your privacy. Cook also went on to assure users that the Apple has never worked with any government agency to create backdoor access to your information.
Though, like all tech companies, they do provide information when directed to by court order.